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Utility Fog


Your weekly fix of postfolkrocktronica, dronenoise, power ambient, post-everything improv... and more?
Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.

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Sunday, 17th of June, 2018

Playlist 17.06.18 (9:07 pm)

Tonight it's an all-women Utility Fog. I was going to do a show like this soon anyway, and I don't always draw attention to it (I think it ought to be totally natural to play 2 hours of music by women, given how easy it is to slip into hours of male-dominated works).
But, while it's been a week of fantastic releases from women as you'll hear... it's also been a week of tragedy. The rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon by a 19-year-old man while walking home at night in Melbourne has lain heavily on the hearts of many Australians, a visceral tug on the constant fears most women carry with them whenever they're out alone. And another young woman's life was also taken within days of Dixon's, again by a 19-year-old man - this time the flatmate of the murdered woman Qi Yu. These stories are all too common, and it's hard to escape the realisation that a toxic (if ancient) masculinity is at the core of what's wrong. It's particularly alarming how young these perpetrators were, carrying out acts of ultimate possessive, sexual violence. This has to stop, and it has to start with men. We recoil from acts like these but we must look to our own behaviour too.
I'm not honestly all that good at resisting the pull of patriarchy, but I'm trying. In this context all I can do is play music, so this show's a nudge in the right direction. As usual when I put together all-female playlists, people of all genders write in to say how great the music is (usually without noticing the gender thing), which is exactly as it should be.

LISTEN AGAIN, because this really is the best music... stream on demand from FBi, podcast from here.

Aphir - Generalisation (feat. Freya) [Aphir Bandcamp]
Aphir - Dyscircadian (feat. alphamale) [Aphir Bandcamp]
After a, well, shitty experience outside her studio in Melbourne, electronic musician and singer Becki Whitton aka Aphir decided to put together an EP of collaborative music in one week, and release it not long after. Artists contributed drones and weird noises, and Whitton created amazing pieces of experimental electronic pop out of them. So there's the vocoded/autotuned vocals and beats over drones from Freya, and a stunning piece featuring coruscating viola and drones from Canberra's Hannah de Feyer aka alphamale.

Ptwiggs - Eternal Chains [Ptwiggs SoundCloud - free download]
Sydney's Phoebe Twiggs most recently has appeared as one half of Eternal, as duo/label/promoter of experimental electronic music in Sydney. Her new (new/old) EP showcases her industrial/rave sound, with heavy beats and samples hinting at gabba or drum'n'bass...

Sophia Loizou - Morphogenesis [Cosmo Rhythmatic]
Sophia Loizou - Baptisia [Astro:Dynamics]
Sophia Loizou - Genesis '92: The Awakening [Kathexis]
Sophia Loizou - Shadows Of Futurity [Houndstooth]
Sophia Loizou - The Interior Life Of Another [Cosmo Rhythmatic]
Bristol-based composer / producer Sophia Loizou has swiftly become one of those buy-on-sight artists since her first releases in 2014. Her first album Chrysalis came out on London label Astro:Dynamics, with a mixture of minimalist drone and heavy "power ambient", but on 2016's Singulacra, out on Boston label Kathexis, she began her piercing look at '90s rave music through a nostalgic, ambient, contemporary lens. Earlier this year Loizou contributed a track to Houndstooth's In Death's Dream Kingdom, foregrounding the junglist beats even more than before, and messed up though they are, those beats are pretty prominent again on the new album Irregular Territories released on the noisy experimental label Cosmo Rhythmatic run by Shapednoise.

Eartheater - Switch [PAN]
Eartheater - Galactic Human [Eartheater Bandcamp] {no longer available?}
Meredith Monk - Double Fiesta [ECM]
Eartheater - Homonyms [Hausu Mountain]
Eartheater - Mask Therapy [Hausu Mountain]
Show Me The Body - In A Grace (feat. Denzel Curry, Moor Mother & Eartheater) [self-released]
Eartheater - MMXXX ft. Moor Mother [PAN]
Alexandra Drewchin aka Eartheater's debut solo album on PAN is out now, after two excellent albums on the eclectic noise-meets-IDM label Hausu Mountain and a number of releases as part of Greg Fox's Guardian Angel trio. Drewchin, a performance artist and extraordinary contortionist dancer, has a remarkable vocal range as well as being a multi-instrumentalist and producer. Drewchin's love of Kate Bush is well known, but on listening to her early track "Galactic Human" I felt a strong sense of the genius composer & vocal iconoclast Meredith Monk in there - and we just don't hear enough Meredith Monk these days, so there you go, and 31-year-old track on the 'Fog. Meanwhile we re-join Drewchin with her debut album Metalepsis, and its follower RIP Chrysalis which, although released the same year, seems to these ears to be a significant progression (although both are great!) So there's been an few years' gap between albums, and PAN seems an appropriate place to end up, straddling noise, experimental electronic and occasional forays into song-based work. Last year Drewchin appeared as Eartheater on the massive Corpus I mixtape which I loved from NYC hardcore punks Show Me The Body - on a track which incidentally also featured a scathing contribution from the goddess Moor Mother, who is one of two collaborators on the new Eartheater album, and who just destroys (in the best way) anything she appears on.

SOPHIE - Faceshopping [MSMSMSM/future classic/Transgressive]
SOPHIE - Pretending [MSMSMSM/future classic/Transgressive]
I meant to play SOPHIE's single "Faceshopping" when I first heard it in all its bizarre glitched-up industrial pure pop glory. Somehow I missed the boat, but now the album OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES is out. In a lot of ways it's a direct expression of SOPHIE's "coming out" as transexual, a fact that perhaps was always obvious but also was presented in an arty way that could be interpreted or misinterpreted in many ways. In any case, ideas of self-presentation, identity and gender and explored on this album, and to me what's interesting is the way it challenges ideas of what pop music can be. I love the cavernous stretched ambience of "Pretending", and also the outro "Pretend World", as much as I love the heavy beat-destruction.

Jasmine Guffond - Niche Service [Karlrecords]
Natalie Beridze - Mapping Debris Pattern [Karlrecords]
Nothing from Sydney artist Jasmine Guffond over the last few years (and longer) has been anything less than brilliant, and this little vignette tonight is no exception. Jasmine was based for some years in Berlin, and appears on Berlin label Karlrecords on a compilation celebrating the 200th birthday of that famous Karl, Marx. Her glitchy textures are accompanied tonight by some gorgeous textural work in a similar, even lusher vein, from Georgian producer Natalie Beridze. Proceeds from this compilation go to homeless charity Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe, and immigration advocacy organisation ProAsyl.

Ana Dall'Ara Majek - Bacillus Chorus [Empreintes Digitales]
From a larger work and album called Nano-Cosmos (detailed notes at that link!), Montréal-based French composer Ana Dall'Ara Majek conjures up the world of bacteria in this enveloping electro-acoustic work. It's a surprisingly accessible (albeit challenging) work from the usually very high-concept art music label Empreintes Digitales.

Sophie Hutchings & Julia Kent - Earth Bound [Thesis Project]
Thesis Project is a label dedicated to bringing ambient/post-classical artists together for unexpected collaborations. They release hand-made vinyl & other editions, and have recently collected some of these works together on a double CD release called THESIS COLLECTED 01. Tonight we heard a rather exquisite melancholy piece coupling many layers of looped cello from Julia Kent with a plangent, fragmentary piano melody from Sydney's own Sophie Hutchings.

Sophie Hutchings - My Love [flau]
Meanwhile Sophie also appears on a lovely, sweet compilation put together by Japanese label flau to celebrate their 10th birthday. It should in fact have come out last year, but they suffered a burglary at their offices which set all their plans back. Circles is a waltz album, a delightful idea, and one that suits Sophie Hutchings to a tee, with a gorgeous ballad, as usual as much redolent of Aussie indie music as it is of any idea of "post-classical" piano tinkling.

Listen again — ~202MB


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